<a href="photos-2/egypta-vintage-production.jpg" rel="lightbox" title="<b>1906 production of Egypta</b>">
LYCEUM 2nd and Jefferson

Opened 1894  .   Seats 2010  .  Demolished 1935

There was an earlier Lyceum on the corner of 3rd and Union, which was built in 1888, but it burned to the ground in 1893. 
A new and very grand Lyceum was built by H. L. Brinkley in 1894 at 2nd and Jefferson.  By all accounts, this new Lyceum interior was lavishly decorated in a Spanish motif, with imperial green, rich yellow, and gold.  It was the first Memphis playhouse to have electric lights.  The first performance was 'The Count de Grammot', which opened to a packed house.  The Lyceum became the place to go, and night after night it was filled with the elite of the city who sat in the box seats which were known as The Golden Horseshoe.   

In a very short period,  the Lyceum was considered the finest theater in the South.  The Hopkins Stock Company  was the resident company.  All famous actors of the day appeared here:  Maud Adams, Lillie Langtry, Anna Held, George M. Cohan, etc.    But new theaters opened  downtown and  the Lyceum began to decline.  To survive, it switched to vaudeville in 1919, and then to motion pictures (the first to show movies regularly), and finally boxing and burlesque.  Ultimately it lost the battle and closed in 1935 and was demolished the same year.  Today the site of the Lyceum is occupied by Regions Bank Building. 


Rare view from 2nd - 1907


Click on small photos for an enlargement


Lyceum Loew's 1916

Lyceum sign 1911



Lyceum Loew's


The first Lyceum which was built in 1888 and was located at the corner of Third and Union Streets.  It was located on the lower floor of The Athletic Society Building.  The 2nd LYCEUM Theatre is listed in the Directories from 1899 up to 1935.  In 1916-1920, the name changed briefly to Loew's Lyceum.  The 1913-14 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide lists The Lyceum with 1433 Seats.
(See article below)

Original Lyceum  


Vintage Photo

Lyceum stage-pit

Lyceum Interior Lyceum  Movie Screen

Original Lyceum


CBC Graduation-'06

CBC Silver Jubilee

CBC 1877

Lyceum Posters 1910 >>

<< Poster >>

<"Father of the Boys"


1918 Ads for Loew's Lyceum Ads 1890-1893 Notices 1893-1922 Court Case Two 1924 Playbills

Lyceum Share 1894

Stock Company 1898

Peabody - Lyceum Postcard 1909

H. Brinkley-Builder

Birth of a Nation 1916



1908 Lyceum Theatre Playbill and Libretto Program for the opera "Egypta"

These items were acquired from a grandmother's estate sale in Macomb, Illinois.  She had lived in Memphis at the time and had saved these items.



These very rare 1908 photographs of actual stage performances of "Egypta" were found on-line



1908, and 1912 Lyceum Theatre Programs (Below)  These are very rare vintage Programs.  The complete program is posted.  Very interesting advertising.   Click on the Program Cover to see and read the  entire program



1912 - April 1912 - October 6 1912 - October 30

1912 - December



Billboard 1922 1433 Seats ??? Billboard 1902 Billboard 1909

Loew's Lyceum

1904  Brinkley Obit

1889 Athletic Assoc

Athletic Assoc-Lyceum

Lyceum Sign

Lyceum Ticket

In 1916-1920, the name  of the Lyceum changed briefly to Loew's Lyceum.  This was in anticipation of the Loew's State and Loew's Palace theaters being built and until that time a theater was needed for the many new films being released.   The old Lyceum was completely remodeled and received a new lease on life, as a "first-run movie-vaudeville house" ... until the Loew's Palace opened.  From then on, it was downhill.  The movie ads below are all from a big year - 1920.



1920 1920 Actress PR 1920 1920 1920 1920

1920 1920 1920 1920 1920 1920 1920



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